When I moved into this Uptown Minneapolis apartment last October, I knew it was temporary, a stopping place while I looked for an over-55 community — the key word being community. It was clear to me that I’d have to find it once I was here. It was not possible to do in the space of a short exploratory visit.

My current apartment is beautiful but I am completely isolated here. There are apartment buildings that foster a culture of “get to know your neighbors.” This isn’t one of them. So, once things began to thaw in the spring, I started my search. There was one building I went to a few times: it backs onto a small lake and is near a nature preserve — but it also fronts on a busy suburban road with a Target on the other side of the street. And the only apartment I could have afforded there would have been rather small, and even then it was a stretch.

So, in April, I expanded my search to include regular apartment buildings and began looking in St. Paul as well. (It is remarkable how radically different from each other the Twin Cities are — definitely not identical twins.) In St. Paul, I found what seemed to be an ideal community, one with a spiritual component, a great location, beautifully designed property, reasonable rents. And an eight to ten year waiting list. “You’d better get on it right away,” the lady said. I’ll be too old, I replied. “Well,” she said, “maybe you’ll be ready for assisted living by then.”

On Friday, May 13, feeling increasingly hopeless, I sat myself down and asked the question I’d been afraid there was no answer to: If I can’t find anything here, where does my heart want to go?

I had been wrong about there being no answer. It came right away. When I was growing up, I lived in Manhattan but spent a lot of time near a town called Chatham in upstate New York (more about this another time). Chatham, is what my heart answered.

For a whole host of reasons, I knew I couldn’t move to Chatham but I also knew that Albany is a half-hour away. At this point in my life, living in a small town doesn’t make a lot of sense but living in a small city half an hour away from one of my heart’s homes does. The other home is the city (The City), a two and a half hour train ride away.

I’ll share more details as this unfolds but I wanted to let you know that the movers are booked to pick up on September 7th and, on the 20th, they will deliver my belongings to my new home in an over-55 Albany community.

Right before I left Seattle, my friend Stephen gave me a small carved stone eagle to help me stay strong and guide me home. I brought the eagle with me when I visited Albany last month. And when I found my new home, I took the eagle out of my pocket and put it on the kitchen counter. The eagle has landed, I said to the empty space. Not quite, but the image helps me keep the faith.

Photo by Ruth Neuwald Falcon


  1. Congratulations, Ruth!! May your new home provide you nourishment in mind, body and spirit!
    Can’t wait to hear about your new adventures in Albany!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mazel Tov Ruth as your journey continues! 🥰
    I just drove thru Albany last month on my way to see my daughter in Vermont. It will be wonderful to get together next time.

    Much love and blessings for an easy move!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yesterday I tried to compose a text to you. I wanted to ask if you had settled your thoughts and if you were heading east. And this morning I read this. Welcome home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your process of choosing a new home, dear Ruth. We wish you a very easy transition and will look forward to hearing more about your move in September! Lovingly, Ellin and Don

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Ruth, your journey inspires me! Listen to the heart..love that you let that guide you. I am also changing my focus and looking forward to the over 65 era (next year!) l hope we can meet sometime, somewhere and connect 🙂 Sending love and blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Ruth, for sharing your journey with us.
    Wishing you every happiness as you settle into your new home. May you find community, joy, and peace as you begin this next chapter of life.
    Much love,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Ruth,
    Your post delighted me!
    I am so very glad that you will be returning to NY to a community that will likely nurture you and be supportive of your individuality.
    Aging is difficult, even with a partner.. Richard and I are struggling to move out of our house and find a new residence (still in Seattle) that will meet our needs. We discussed not wanting to be in a community of seniors, just because of our liking for all age companions. But, really, younger people lead different, often very busy lives and don’t necessarily understand or have time for elders.

    You are a New Yorker – this will be a good fit for you I know.
    Can’t wait to read about how life goes for you there

    Much Love,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Ruth,

    It is interesting how things work out when we least expect it. The eagle has indeed landed and you are both on your way to a new home. With your talents and interests, there will be lots of opportunity to build your new life. Mazel Tov, Ruth.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I read this post with a sense of “of course you are going home”. I’m not one of your closest friends, but somehow I always thought that New York was home for you. I’m delighted that you are willing to continue your adventure to find the right place to be. I hope you find a community that deserves your friendship and caring.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so happy for you. Three days before the Covid lockdown I moved into a 55+ community with high hopes. Of course an almost 2 year lockdown dampened those hopes a bit, but other things have made me question this particular choice(luckily I am only renting now). So I am still not settled nor at peace. I am still searching for “my place == my niche”.

    Liked by 1 person

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